Every year, in cities around the world, people participate in an unusual event: the World Naked Bike Ride (WMBR), during which wearing clothes is optional and the objective is to celebrate cycling, to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and to protest against the world’s oil dependency and the negative environmental impact of a car-dominated culture.
‘Be as bare as you dare’ is the dress code for the event and “now you see me” is a slogan to call for greater awareness of cyclists’ vulnerability and their rights.
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”It’s time to put a stop to the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create,” explains the event’s website.
The international, clothes-optional bike ride occurs on different dates, usually towards the end of spring and throughout the summer, generally during a weekend in some 200 cities in all corners of the globe.
Although each city decides its cause, the general aim of the World Naked Bike Ride is to protest against the world’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels, to demand measures to curb car culture, to obtain genuine rights for cyclists by demonstrating their vulnerability on roads and city streets and to celebrate body freedom.
From the shy to the bold
“All are welcome,” the organizers emphasize. “ From the shy to the bold. Cyclists, rollerbladers, rollerskaters, skate boarders. All ages, sizes, and colors. Bring your family and your co-workers!”
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Another overarching aim of the nude bike ride is to promote cycling as a clean and safe means of transportation versus motorized vehicles and their negative impact on the environment.
As bare as you dare
“Don’t feel discouraged if you’re not willing to undress completely,” the organization advises. “As the motto clearly states—’as bare as you dare’ — the ride is equally appropriate and comfortable for the shy and bold. Also, feel free to add some special features and create your unique style by decorating your body and vehicle.”
First held in 2004 in Canada, the ride has expanded to cities across the globe to become the world’s largest naked event promoting cycling in history.